Friday, February 28, 2014

Niceville Florida

       I have been staying at Rocky Bayou State park for the past two nights. Nancy and Bennie have gone back to Indiana to the snow and cold weather. It was great visiting with them for the past week. We did lots of exciting things along with fishing and sight seeing. We went to a Patriotic concert and listened to fifty and sixties music. Todd Allen Henderson played music performed by  Johhny Cash , Roy Orbison, Elvis and others.
     I will be moving tomorrow a little further north and will be investigating the new area. I will let you know what I find later. Pictures of beach and music to follow.
 Northwest Florida Jazz band at Snowbird meeting

 Bennie said this young lady had a swimsuit malfunction.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Destin Florida Fishing Trip

      After leaving the Tabasco place I traveled through New Orleans and on to Mississippi I slept for a few hours at one of the travel stops. Slept well I did not as there was so much traffic noise I kept waking up and turning over. I put in ear plugs and this helped some but was moving on about 3 am to Alabama. After reaching the Alabama line I traveled onto Daphne and then slept a few more hours in a Bass Pro parking lot. I was going to stay in Gulf Shores park but no sites were available and it didn't work to see brother Jon again. I did get one night at the new Gulf Breeze RV resort in Gulf shores but they didn't have a site for Friday night. Seemed like a nice park with lots of activities to keep campers busy. They had quite a bit of rain and  the sites were wet when not on the cement pads.

     I traveled on to Destin on Friday and I will spend a few nights with Nancy and Bennie Hurt my Mother and Father in law.  We made plans and went fishing on Monday on the Charter boat DESTINY. This is a 72 foot boat and  holds 65 fishermen. They have a crew to insure the fish are well taken care of as you reel them to the boat. They also untangle any lines that do get tangled as the fishermen are about 3 feet from each other. It was a tough day fishing but we were able to catch a few fish.  Bennie and Nancy are going home on Thursday morning because she is ready after 2 months in Destin to see snowy Indiana again. I plan to stay around the area for a couple of more weeks. I have Daisy parked in the Rocky Bayou state park again and we have visited the park a few times. Soon I will be driving Ms Daisy again.

 Pelicans waiting for leavings from fish cleaning operations.

 Bennie and Nancy Hurt on the boat

Our catch was two Red Snappers and we will have a fish fry after returning to Indiana. 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Hot Sauce and Travel

     After leaving Lake Charles Louisiana I traveled to south to Avery Island. This is the home of Mcilhenny Tabasco manufacturing plant. They have free tours and explain how they make their famous sauce. I saw the plants and how the save the seeds and plant in greenhouses in January. They  then transfer to the soil in April and harvest in August when the pepper is just the right shade of RED. All of the seeds come from the Island but most are shipped to South America and Africa for planting. After peppers are harvested they are mashed and salt added they are packed in oak barrels and aged for three years before being processed. They get the barrels from Jack Daniels in Tennessee and can reuse them until they are to broken to repair. After adding vinegar the mash is strained and bottled. You can look through a glass wall and watch the process.
     High way 90 from I 10  in Lafayette La to Avery Island is very rough and it shook Daisy pretty good. She kept groaning and moaning all the way, I just put in my ear plugs and drove on along the bumpy road.  After leaving the Tabasco plant I took 90 all the way to New Orleans about 139 miles. I will say the road conditions did improve as I traveled east to my destination. From New Orleans I continued to the last travel stop and spent a few hours sleeping. The road noise was disturbing and I woke several times and finally decided to continue on the journey about 3:30 this morning. I had planned to stay in the state park in Gulf Shores, Al but no sites were available so I found a RV resort just north of Gulf Shores and will spend the night here.
    By the way if my friend Dan Swango and Son-in-Law Craig Musolf were here they would have enjoyed the samples at Tabasco land. I sampled several of the many hot sauces with the pretzel sticks provided. I also had a small sample of Raspberry Chipolte Ice Cream and also some Jalapeno Ice Cream.
     For lunch I had Crawfish etouffee served over rice. I must say this was very rich and delicious. Pictures to follow
 They fill 700,000 bottles per day four days per week

 Nice looking factory outside
 Inside the company store

 Rv resort I am staying at tonight
My haul of stuff from McHilenny Tabasco store.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Lake Charles Louisianna

      I left Lagoons Rv park on February 15 about 10 am as I had to wait until the office opened to pay my electric bill. I then drove to Port Aransas and crossed the channel on the ferry. This is the free ferry that I have now crossed several time but this is the first time Daisy has made the crossing.
        These ferries handle Semi trucks so I didn't have any problem with Daisy riding across the water. I then drove to a Stripes gas station and purchased a parking permit for the beach. The permit is $12.00 and allows parking for three consecutive days along the water. This permit is good for a year and you can camp here every three weeks for three more days. This is not the first time I boondocked (camping without hook ups) but the others have been at Walmarts and Parking areas. This is the longest I have boondocked at any location. The weather was great except for some foggy mornings. The temperature was around 75 every day and sunny after the fog left. Corpus Christi set record hi temperatures with them reaching 91 degrees on Sunday. This is only about 20 miles from my location but I was on the water. The Gulf temperature is 56 degrees and kept the area temperature lower. This didn't stop people from swimming and enjoying the sandy beaches.

      I camped here for three nights including Presidents day and really enjoyed my stay except for not having access to the internet. I am going to have to get a cell tower Mifi connection one of these days.  I drove 400 miles north east yesterday and white knuckled it through Houston again. Traffic was backed up on one of the roads but Lola the liar took me a different  route and we made it to Lake Charles La where I spent the night at a Walmart. Very foggy this morning and I got a late start because of the fog. I am at a McDonalds restaurant to post this blog. 
     I plan to tour the Tabasco manufacturing plant today and will post about it later. 

Until then I will be Driving Ms Daisy

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentines Day and Goose Island

      I want to wish a very Happy Valentines and 28th Anniversary to my wife Sherry. Yes we got married on Valentines Day and I have never forgotten the date. However she sometimes thinks she is cheated by only getting one Gift for the day.
       She has allowed me to take this winter vacation in Texas. She is still working and is supporting my traveling. This has been a great adventure but I do miss having her with me and hope she will join traveling with me soon.

Happy Valentines and Anniversary Sherry

I traveled to Goose Island State park yesterday with the hope of arranging camping for a couple of days. This didn't work however as the park is completely full, the office told me it is because of the Holiday weekend. I didn't know Monday would be this kind of a holiday. She let me drive through and look the park over. I wish I had made camping arrangements earlier as this is a beautiful park. Yesterday a new neighbor moved in next to Daisy and set up camp. This camper said she tried to pick up her mail that was being delivered to General Delivery to the Rockport post office but it was available until this morning. She ( her name is Carla) was from Oregon and has been full timing since last year. However she did say she spent last summer at her brothers place. Anyway when I told her I hoped to get a space at Goose Island she recommended site #1 which she says is much covenanted because you can park parallel to the water. On all the other sites parking is perpendicular to the water which only gives you view through the front window. It didn't make any difference though because I couldn't obtain a spot. I plan to move to Port Aransas tomorrow and stay on the beach there. Below are pictures of Goose Island park.
Typical camping spot at Goose Island

Fish Cleaning station ( They have a 1600 ft pier for park guests)

No Fish on the picture board but it looks like it has seen use :)

Wild life along road as I was leaving the park

This Heron stopped me and asked if I would post her picture
on the blog
It finally got warm here today about 76 degrees here along the bay in Rockport. Corpus Christi set a record high temperature of 90 degrees at the Naval Air Station. The previous record was 88 degrees set in 2005. I am just 30 miles north of Corpus Christi and don't need all that heat, but I won't complain.
    Tomorrow is moving day and I won't have internet access so blog posts will be sproatic for a while. Tomorrow I will be Driving Ms Daisy to her new location.


Thursday, February 13, 2014

Rockport Texas Maritime museum

The weather yesterday was better than the day before with sunny skies and warmer temperatures. It was still cold with the high around 51 degrees. The wind was blowing from the north west at 15 cooling miles per hour.
      I spent a couple of hours at the Maritime museum yesterday. They have lots of things to see about boating in the area. They have tools from history used in wooden shipbuilding. There is a model of Frenchman Lasalle last ship. It sunk in a storm in the bay outside of Rockport. They have recovered lots of artifacts from the salvage including a lot of the hull. A video kiosk presented information about the ship and his voyage.  There were replicas of shrimp and oyster boats and several fish mountings and history of fishing reels and baits. Also much information on the Oil rigs and operations in the Gulf. Enjoy the pictures.